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August 31, 2009

A Brief Recession

Back in the 1990s, the hard-rockin’ band Bane released an album called It All Comes Down to This. But there wasn’t a single track on that album about men’s underwear. Maybe band members just hadn’t heard.

This article in Monday’s Washington Post makes the case that “it” — the economy, at least — may all come down to men’s underwear. The Post article offers several stats suggesting that sales of these undergarments are a good barometer of where the economy is heading.

It’s a theory that even Alan Greenspan has cited.

According to the Post article:

Sales of men’s underwear typically are stable because they rank as a necessity. But during times of severe financial strain, men will try to stretch the time between buying new pairs, causing underwear sales to dip.

. . . The growth in sales of men’s underwear began to slow last year as the recession took hold . . .

The article goes on to predict that men’s underwear sales will fall by 0.5 percent next year — “and as with many economic indicators, a slowing of a decline can be welcomed as a step in the right direction.”

So politics is about red states and blue states. And economics is about tighty-whities.